Grammy Awards - Olivia Rodrigo, Silk Sonic and jazz musician Jon Batiste shared the top honours at the 64th Grammy Awards. Batiste's soul record We Are won album of the year, while Rodrigo won best new artist and best pop album. Silk Sonic's soul throwback anthem Leave The Door Open took home both the record and song of the year prizes.
Apart from the awards, the ceremony saw a tribute to Foo Fighters star Taylor Hawkins, and a video plea from Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky. In a pre-taped message, he urged musicians to "fill the silence" left by Russian bombs "with your music". His speech was followed by a performance by John Legend, accompanied by Ukrainian musicians Siuzanna Iglidan and Mika Newton; and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.
Foo Fighters won three prizes - best rock album for Medicine at Midnight, rock performance for its opening track, Making A Fire and rock song for Waiting On A War. Presenter Jimmy Jam accepted the prizes in the band's absence, "with prayers to their loved ones". The ceremony, held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, also saw performances from Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish and BTS, while Joni Mitchell made a rare on-stage appearance to introduce Brandi Carlile.
Drama School - A troubled drama school has closed down without warning, saying it was no longer "financially viable". The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) announced 44 members of staff would be made redundant on Monday with immediate effect. Students will be helped to find "alternative courses". Students had previously accused the school of "systemic racism". One student called the closure "disgusting".
A statement on the school's website said: "ALRA went through a restructure in spring 2021 that was designed to stabilise finances. But the losses made in the 2020-21 academic year and the lack of any significant new income streams in 2021-22 meant the organisation was not financially viable."
Edinburgh International - Alan Cumming, Herbie Hancock and Nicola Benedetti are among 2,000 artists who are to appear at this year's Edinburgh International Festival. It is the first full programme since 2019, with 87 events in 14 venues, including a free opening show at Murrayfield called Macro. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the festival which was set up by a refugee, Rudolph Bing, to give hope in the aftermath of World War Two.
Festival director Fergus Linehan said, "2022 is a special year for the festival. We hope that it will mark a turning point in the pandemic that has changed all our lives over the past two years. It is our 75th Anniversary and an opportunity to pay tribute to our first artistic director, Rudolph Bing, a refugee of war in Europe."
Olivier Awards - All of 2022’s Olivier-nominated musicals, including Cabaret, Frozen, Moulin Rouge! and Back to the Future, will perform at the Olivier Awards this weekend. The ceremony, on 10 April will take place in person for the first time since 2019 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. It will be screened by ITV at 10.15pm, with the awards also broadcast live on Magic Radio, organisers the Society of London Theatre have announced.
The evening will include a special musical tribute to composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, who died last year aged 91. Presenters and performers for the ceremony, hosted by Jason Manford, include Anne-Marie Duff, Noma Dumezweni, Tom Felton, Kit Harington, Arlene Phillips, Beverley Knight and Jonathan Pryce, as well as Oti Mabuse, Keala Settle, Sam Tutty and Layton Williams.
(Jim Evans)
5 April 2022

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